Reasons to do Barre Workouts

Pure Barre and other Barre related fitness centers are springing up in urban areas quickly.  One opened in my town a few months ago and there are 2 others within 80 miles of my home.  I've been to about 3 workout sessions and have been exhilarated afterwards.

The "barre" was used to support balance when doing thigh and glute work and to intensify seated ab work. While the workout was low impact, no jumping, I worked up a heavy sweat and had shaky mucles afterwards.  We did a lot of toning type exercises such as squats, glute lifts, glute squeezes, planks and ab work.

I experienced some soreness the next day.  And while I enjoyed the workout I wondered about the long term benefits of this type of workout.  I do a lot of HIIT and circuit workouts and feel a little out of my element with a longer toning class.  So I did some research on the benefits of barre workouts and here is what I found.

  1. Increased Muscle Definition. The barre workout was at its essence high rep, using body-weight or small weights.  There are a lot of muscle contractions.  Muscles are worked to fatigue allowing muscle growth. They have 3 and 5 pound weights in the class for some arm exercises.  And while these seem like light weights, because of the number of repetitions, my arms got tired quickly.
  2. Improved Muscular Endurance.
    Because the Barre workout involves high repetitions working  the muscles for long periods of time, your muscular endurance will improve.  Livestrong's website sites weight control and increased energy among the benefits of muscular endurance.[2]
  3. Improved Posture and Flexibility.  In an article in Health magazine, Lis Settimi of The Bar Method in Chicago says posture and flexibility improve because of frequent stretching.[1]  Stretching is something that I don't have in my normal workout routines because I usually skip cooldowns.  But there is stretching throughout this barre workout so I am forced to improve on it.

I enjoyed the barre workout and because of the benefits, especially the posture and flexibility movements, I will  incorporate it into my routine.